Just a little one or two chapter thing for my own amusement, and hopefully yours, as well. I suppose it could turn into more if anyone sees potential, and wants to read on. Reviews are lovely and so very much appreciated. Enjoy!
She lets him in as she downs a handful of Advil, chased with strong coffee. He quirks an eyebrow at her as he obviously spots the remnants of her breakfast – a large, frosted brownie – on the counter next to the coffeemaker and the Advil bottle.
"You, uh, feeling all right?" he asks, leaning against the counter.
"Yeah, fine. I'll be ready in a minute. Let me just run to the bathroom before we leave."
"We've got time. You hear from Hetty?"
"Yeah, just before you got here. You know where this place is?" she calls from the bathroom, as she stuffs her purse with tampons, referring to the house they've been instructed to investigate.
"Yep, no problem. But I doubt we'll find anything. Seems like a run of the mill mugging gone bad, to me."
She walks back out. "I agree. But we have to check."
"Gives us an excuse to take the Coast Road, too," he says, smiling, as he looks at her pleadingly.
"No! No way. I am not doing that again. No surfing on the clock."
"We don't punch a clock."
She glares at him. "You know what I mean. No."
He shrugs. "It was worth a try. But it will be a nice drive."
"Yeah." She's not excited about the prospect of sitting in a car for the next hour or more with her back aching like it is, and the vicious cramps contributing to it.
"Fine. Let's go."
She says to hell with it, and lets him drive her car. She's just too tired to argue, and if she's lucky, he'll be quiet and she can sleep on the drive. As much as she likes the scenic view from the Coast Road, she'd like more sleep even better.
He keeps glancing at her from across the console. It's making her uncomfortable. Well, more uncomfortable.
"Advil working yet?"
She feels her color rise, and attempts to fight it back. "Why would you assume I have cramps? Maybe I slept wrong."
He smiles that goofy smile, and laughs a bit. "Kens, you just took a handful of ibuprofen, and had brownies for breakfast. You look exhausted. You're letting me drive. I get it."
"I'm not discussing this with you."
He shrugs. "Whatever. Mind if I make a quick stop?"
He steers into the lot of a convenience store and parks near the door. "Need anything?"
"Be right back, then." He hops out and disappears inside the little store.
She watches him go, feeling the heat of embarrassment creep up her neck and flush her cheeks. She hates him sometimes. No one should be able to read her that easily. And yet, he does. Every damn time. It's infuriating.
He's back within five minutes, sliding into the driver's seat, laying a plastic bag in his lap. He smiles at her and fastens his seatbelt, then digs in the bag and hands her a small bottle of Advil.
"You left yours on the counter at home. I thought you might need more later."
She wants to murder him. Or crawl under the dash and hide. But damn it, he's right. She totally forgot to refill the bottle in her purse.
She smiles a little. "Thanks."
He shrugs. "Here," he says, tossing a bag of Dove Dark chocolates into her lap.
She sits, stunned, and chews her lip. He knows her so well. Again, it's infuriating. And sort of endearing. "Damn it, Deeks…"
He backs out and hits the road. "You know you want them, Kens. Or will."
She swallows the embarrassment and thanks him.
"I don't know what the big deal is. I mean, why do girls get so freaked out when we know you're on…"
She raises her hand to shut him up. "Deeks…"
"Seriously, Kens. I don't get it. It is what it is. Why be so uptight about it? It has to suck, though. You look miserable every time it happens."
She's mortified. "You always know when it happens?"
He smiles. "You have a few tells, Kens. Advil and chocolate. Usually, you're tough as nails, nothing hurts, nothing requires drugs. But that few days…"
"Okay. Great. Glad you get a kick out of this."
"I don't. That's the point. I'm trying to make it easier on you, Partner. We guys have nothing to compare it to, so I'm winging it here, but I'm trying."
She smiles apologetically. "Thanks."
He smiles back.
"Can we shut up now?"
They drive to the house of the slain Marine, and as Deeks had said, the drive is beautiful. And of course, he can't shut up, so sleep is out. They pull up to a nice home in a quaint, older neighborhood, and start their work. Since he wasn't killed here, it's not a crime scene, and, as they expected, they turn up nothing.
"I knew it. Nada."
"Maybe there's something in the garage," Kensi suggests, mainly because she's learned that he's a car buff, and has two classics stored there; one, a work in progress.
Deeks shrugs and follows her through the kitchen to the back door. Out back stands a large garage, one that would easily accommodate three cars. Kensi feels her eyes light up. "This would be nice."
Deeks looks around. "Pretty yard. Guy ever have a wife?"
"Flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. Check it out, they're everywhere. He's even got a rose garden over there."
"Focus, Deeks. The garage."
"Yeah, 'cause we're going to find something in there."
She glares at him and opens the door.
"Come on. You're a girl. You have to like flowers."
"Flowers, yes. Bees, no. Now concentrate," she says offhandedly, entering the large building.
"What exactly are we looking for in here?"
"We'll know when we see it. Wow, look at this car." She runs her hand reverently along the hood of a pristine Shelby Mustang. "Nice. A sixty-seven. Mint. This is worth a fortune."
"Just like in that Cage movie."
She smiles. "Yeah, exactly. Eleanor."
"Well, I don't think Eleanor, here, is going to help us much. And nothing looks out of place. He keeps this place immaculate."
"I would too, if it were mine," she says wistfully.
They search the garage, with Kensi throwing lustful glances at the classic Nova and the '67 Mustang. Deeks laughs at her, teasing her about being a guy in a former life. "No wonder you can't handle the cramps."
"Ha, ha. Shut up, Deeks." She reluctantly leaves the garage and holds the door open for him.
He walks past her and moves across the yard to the elaborate rose garden, and she watches him lean over and inhale the scent of a light purple rose.
"Kensi, you have to smell this. It's so strong."
"No thanks. And I'm pretty sure you were a girl in a past life."
"What is it with you and roses? Bad experience? Stalker boyfriend send you dozens and dozens?"
"I told you, it's not the roses, it's the bees."
"You can't possibly tell me that Kensi Blye is afraid of tiny little bees."
"I'm not afraid of them. I respect them. A lot. Now, let's go."
Just as she turns to walk back toward the house, Deeks yelps, and she whirls around in time to see him swat at his neck. "What happened?"
"Something stung me."
She shakes her head. "Of course it did. I tried to tell you."
"Damn, that hurts. Shit!"
"Was it a bee?" she asks, walking quickly toward him, looking suspiciously around for more.
"I don't know. I guess so."
"Let me see it. Move your hand," she says, examining his neck, a few inches below his right ear. "Yep, it was a bee. The stinger's still in you. You aren't allergic, are you?"
His eyes become huge. "What do you mean the stinger's still in me?"
"Hold still, Deeks, damn it. I have to get it out. Are you allergic?" she repeats, pulling her federal ID from its place beside her badge.
"I don't think so. I've never been stung."
"You've never been stung by a bee? Ever?"
"No, why? How many times have you been stung?" he asks, wincing at the pain as she scrapes the ID across the stinger to remove it. "Ow! And what the hell are you doing to me?"
"Enough. I've been stung enough. And you can't just grab the stinger; it'll inject more venom. You have to use a card to scrape it out."
"This really hurts."
She doesn't make the usual joke about how delicate he is. Instead, she pulls back and looks at him, holding his biceps. "Do you feel okay?"
"My lips are tingling."
"Are you being serious right now? This isn't the time for jokes, Deeks. If you ask me to kiss them…"
"Yeah, Kensi, I'm serious. My whole face is tingly. And I feel funny," he says, somewhat breathlessly.
"Oh, shit." Her heart accelerates. "Funny how?"
"Lightheaded. Tingly. Do you think I'm just freaked out because I got stung?" he asks, breathing slightly harder, his eyes wide.
"Deeks, you were shot twice, at point blank range. I don't think a bee sting is going to make you pass out from stress. You might be having a reaction."
"I feel really funny. Not good funny, either. Bad funny," he pants. "I need to sit down."
Kensi grabs his arm just as he goes down hard on his knees, then falls back. "Oh, God, Deeks? Shit. Stay with me. What are you feeling? Can you breathe okay?"
"Not so much, no. My heart's beating really hard."
"Hang on, I'll be right back."
"No! No, Kensi, don't go anywhere. This is really freaking me out right now," he pleads, fear in his wide blue eyes. Sweat beads his forehead, and he's shaking.
"Deeks, listen to me. I have to go to the car. Take even, steady breaths, okay. I'll be back in thirty seconds. Count them for me, okay?"
He shakes his head, "Kens, no."
"I'll be back, Partner. Swear to God." She gets up and races to the SRX out front, dialing 911 as she runs. She flings open the door and retrieves her purse, all the while telling the dispatcher where they are and what's going on. As she gets back to Deeks, she sees him struggling to sit up. "Lay down, Deeks," she says, pushing him down. "Here, you have to take this. Can you swallow?"
He nods, terror in his eyes. "Think so."
She breaks open two plastic vials of liquid Benadryl and empties them into his mouth. "Swallow that. It'll help. An ambulance is on the way. Just hang in there, okay?"
"Kens…" he rasps out, grabbing her arm desperately. "I can't breathe."
She stares down at him, at his wild, terrified blue eyes, and remembers exactly what this feels like. What it feels like to shake and sweat and feel her throat close. How terrifying it all is. How helpless and out of control it feels. How she could almost feel the tendrils of Death wrapping around her.
"Hang on, Deeks," she says, digging in her purse. She pulls out an EpiPen and reaches for his leg. "I have to stick you." She presses the pen against his denim-covered thigh and hears the pen discharge, and Deeks whimper at the stick. He's clutching at his throat, at her, at his chest. "Deeks, calm down, okay? Help is coming. That shot should help, just give it a second." Please, God, let it help. Where's the damn ambulance? She strokes his face reassuringly, then his hair, doing her best to look calm and confident. She feels neither.
He shakes his head wildly. "Not…helping…"
"Hang on, please." She looks around, straining to hear sirens. She digs out her second and last EpiPen, and quickly injects it into his other thigh, praying she doesn't kill him. "Try to relax, Deeks. Help is coming, I swear." She feels panic – something she's totally unaccustomed to – begin to tug at her from within. She looks back down at her partner. He looks so terrified, so helpless. And he'll die within minutes, without help. Damn it, where are they? Then, the sweetest sound she's ever heard. He gasps. The epinephrine takes affect, and he gasps, sucking in a strangled breath. She grabs his hand, smiling with relief.
"Shh. Don't talk. Don't move. Just lie there." She wants to collapse beside him. She wants to sob. He's breathing. Just barely, but breathing.
How long until the EpiPens wear off, she cannot guess, and she prays the ambulance shows up soon, before they have the chance. Then she hears it, and it's the second most wonderful sound she's heard today. It pulls up outside, and soon two EMTs are at their side, pushing her away from him.
"I gave him liquid Benadryl and hit him with two EpiPens. He wasn't responding to the first one."
"Good work. He's not out of the woods, but your quick thinking saved him," says the younger EMT, as he starts an IV. "This was a really severe reaction. Good thing he had his kit with him."
"He didn't know he's allergic. He's never been stung. The kit was mine," she says softly.
"You'd better get to the doctor and have it refilled. If you're carrying more than one EpiPen, you must have a pretty significant allergy, yourself."
She nods, but says nothing. Deeks stares over at her, looking less panicked than a few minutes ago, but only marginally. The first reaction isn't easy to get over, she knows, and he's probably still scared out of his mind. Once the IV is in and running, and an oxygen mask is in place, she takes his hand again. He's still shaking, and sweat soaks his forehead.
"It's going to be okay," she murmurs to him, stroking back his damp hair. "You're going to be fine now."
He opens his mouth inside the mask, but she shuts him down. "Not a word. Just breathe," she says firmly.
She's once again moved out of the way, as the EMTs lift Deeks onto a stretcher. She takes out her phone and dials Callen, explaining their situation. She asks him if he and Sam can come get her Cadillac, since she'll be riding in the ambulance. They agree, and tell her they'll leave immediately and to just lock up the car and leave the keys on the back porch of the house.
"We're ready," says the older EMT.
Deeks reaches for her, panic in his eyes. "Kens…"
"Shh. I'm riding with you, it's okay." She lobs her keys into the corner of the patio, and takes his hand as they wheel him out. "I'm right here, Partner, and I'm not going anywhere."